Part 2 of Sergio’s Story: I Asked God to Just Let Me Die
It’s a warm May evening, and how better to spend it than by chillin’ with my buddy Sergio at Rockharbor Church. Sergio is preparing to volunteer at Alpha class, the very same class that he came to know Jesus through. Class doesn’t start until 7:30 and it’s only 6, giving us some time to catch up and share some laughs. Eventually I asked “Sergio, refresh me on your life post-baptism man, I’ve been procrastinating on part 2 of your story!”
Well after getting baptized in 2012 I still felt that same unspeakable joy and I was so on fire for the Lord. I quickly got involved with a group of people from church that would go out and evangelize at the Newport Beach pier. We would go there and sing songs of worship, pray and talk with people about Jesus. It was so much fun: one guy would be playing the guitar and the rest of us would just sing our hearts out to the Lord. People would often stop and ask questions, giving us a chance to minister to them and pray. One day during this season of my life I discovered a small mass near my breast. Thinking little of it I went to the doctor to have it examined. At the doctors office I received the most dreadful news: they found two more masses and there was a chance they could be cancerous, further tests would have to be run. That news hit me like a sledge-hammer! I didn’t have the finances for this process and I immediately experienced a very intense fear of dying. After all, I was so young and had so much left to do in life! Well, at least let me die quickly as opposed to a slow, painful death. These thoughts flooded my mind.
I went into a deep, dark state of depression during this time. Looking back on it, the depression was actually worse than the cancer. My mind was flooded with fearful, negative thoughts, and I was seriously considering suicide. This depression was so horrible that I can’t even describe it. At my lowest point I prayed with tears for God to either free me from the depression or just let me die. Finally, the light began to shine in the darkness when I took my mind off of my problems and began to pray for others. It was the strangest thing; in the middle of my own depression I felt this urge to pray for others: friends, enemies, relatives, etc. I previously had so much bitterness and anger towards my enemies, but all of the sudden my heart was filled with compassion and care for them. I felt a deep love for these people and would pray for them throughout the day. I prayed for peace, joy and blessings to flow into their lives. The doctors recommended pills for the depression but I refused, instead I overcame it by praying for others!
Back to the cancer: thankfully 10 days after the two others tumors were discovered they were found to be benign! I was so relieved! But unfortunately the tumors would still need to be removed via an operation. Well that’s what the doctors thought, apparently God had other plans. When I went in for surgery the next month the tumors were gone; yes, GONE! The doctors were absolutely and completely baffled! God is so good! Philippians 4:13 was my theme Scripture during this season, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. As I prayed for others my Newport Beach ministry group was praying for me, and God did a miracle in my life.
I’ve experienced a lot in my life and through it all I’ve learned some things: if you honestly open up your heart to God, He will come to you. I can’t scientifically prove to you that God exists, but if you tell him “I don’t believe in you for this reason, but if you really do exist, show up…somehow…anyhow” he will come! There’s nothing wrong with having doubts, I still have them from time to time, but at the end of the day I know that I have experienced God and his name is Jesus! There will be highs and lows, mountains and valleys; but just keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and continue moving on. The world isn’t going to be perfect, but God will give you strength to face your challenges with courage, determination and hope. God will reveal to you why bad things have happened, and everything will fall into place.
As for me now, I have a desire to be a part of the movement for Christ! I am involved on the Alpha Team at Rockharbor, and I now attend Redemption Church where I am a part of the prayer team. I am also a part of a group at Redemption Church that volunteers at a homeless shelter. I’ve truly found family and I’m carrying out the good works of Christ. I also love sharing the Gospel with non-believers because they can relate to me.
Life is great but I’m still a work in progress. I’m praying for God to fill my heart afresh with his love, joy and peace.
Read part 1 of Sergio’s story here.
Image Credit: Flickr – echerries